wiki:Kannan Devi

Version 2 (modified by UshaR, 11 years ago) (diff)


Kanan Devi (1916-92)

Actress and singer; started with the name Kananbala. Début as child actress in Joydev. Later contracted to Radha Films where she acted in Jyotish Bannerjee films (e.g. Manmoyee Girls’ School?). P.C. Barua was unable to obtain her for the role of Paro in Devdas? (1935) but she played the lead in his next film, Mukti, which made her a star and launched her long association with New Theatres. The success of Bidyapati?, esp. her duets with K.C. Dey, made her the top star of this studio 1937-40. An untrained singer when she entered films, she later studied briefly with Ustad Allah Rakha at Lucknow. Employed as singer at Megaphone Gramophone receiving further training from Bhishmadev Chatterjee, possibly responsible for her distinctive Bengali style. Later learnt Rabindra Sangeet with Anadi Dastidar. She considered Rai Chand Boral? to be her real teacher. One of the few New Theatres lead players not to have a stage background, her impact on Bengali film paralleled Shanta Apte’s on Marathi cinema, departing from proscenium frontality and privileging synchronous speech. Her singing style, usually in rapid tempo, is still identified with some of the biggest studio era hits (esp. Bidyapati, Street Singer?, Sapurey?). Resigned from New Theatres (1941) and freelanced in Bengali and Hindi films. Turned producer with Shrimati Pics (1949); later launched the Sabhyasachi collective with the film Ananya (cf. Ajoy Kar). Wrote an autobiography, Sabare Ami Nomi (1973). The Marxist economist and noted columnist Ashok Mitra took her as an example to comment on the élitism of pre-Independence Calcutta society in his ‘Calcutta Diary’ (Economic and Political Weekly, 1-8 August 1992), describing her ‘Eliza Doolittle’ transformation from the illegitimate Kananbala into the glamorous Kanan Devi, stardom and her first marriage to the brother in law of economist P Mahalnobis making her a member of Calcutta's cutural elite

FILMOGRAPHY: 1926: Joydev (St); 1931: Jore Char Darvesh; Shri Gouranga/Shri? Gouranga Krishnakanter Will; 1927: Durgesh Nandini; 1928: Sarala; Shiraz; The Loves of a Mughal Prince; 1929: Kapal Kundala; Prapancha Pash; 1930: Naseeb Ni Balihari; Kal Parinaya; Bharat Ramani; 1931: Kashmir Nu Gulab (all St); 1932: Shikari. Leela; 1934: Maa; 1935: Basabdatta; Manmoyee Girls’ School; Kanthahaar; 1936: Krishna Sudama; Khooni Kaun; Bishabriksha; 1937: Mukti; Bidyapati/Vidyapati?; 1938: Street Singer/Saathi?; 1939: Sapurey/ Sapera; Jawani Ki Reet/Parajay?; 1940: Abhinetri/Haar? Jeet; 1941: Parichay/ Lagan; 1942: Shesh Uttar/Jawab?; 1943: Jogajog/Hospital?; 1944: Bideshini; 1945: Banphool; Raj Lakshmi; Path Bendhe Dilo; 1946: Arabian Nights; Krishna Leela; Tumi Aar Ami/Tum? Aur Main; 1947: Faisla; Chandrasekhar; 1948: Anirban; Bankalekha; 1949: Ananya; Anuradha; 1950: Mejdidi; 1951: Darpachurna; 1954: Nababidhan; 1955: Devatra; 1956: Asha; 1959: Indranath Srikanta-o-Annadadidi.